Have you ever dreamed of a career in the arts? Today's inspirational story for dandi London is written by Billie Haynes and the start of her career in music theatre.
Billie Haynes - Actor/singer
At the age of six my Mother dropped me off at Stagecoach, an organisation to introduce young people to the world of musical theatre. Here we would do classes in acting, dancing, and singing. I would spend my week looking forward to these Saturday morning classes and for the first time I began to thrive. I knew at the age of six this is what I was going to dedicate my life to doing.
I grew up in a working-class family, not a lot of money, but big dreams. I was never successful at school; it just was not for me. I remember seeing a picture when scrolling through Facebook once, it included an examiner, a monkey, a bird, an elephant, and a fish, and a speech bubble from the examiner asking them all to climb a tree. This was a reflection on our schooling system at the time and I was the fish.
At the age of sixteen I came one step closer to my dream. This is when I started my full-time training at the Eastern School of Performing Arts (ESPA). Here I completed a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Musical Theatre, as well as a HND in Musical Theatre. These combined course equates to second year of a degree.
I had auditioned for theatre schools for my degree however was not successful, and when it came to complete my top-up, I decided nothing was going to stop me. I applied for 4 universities / theatre schools. I was lucky enough to get my top choice and in September 2019 I joined level 6 (third year) at the London College of Music. When I arrived at my audition for the course I was advised the likelihood of me joining at level 6 was very slim as this was not something they had done before, I kept pushing. I auditioned, I interviewed, and I was the first person to join the London College of Music (LCM) at level 6.
Throughout my time at LCM I went through the struggles of both third-year work and adjusting to a new environment as a first year student in a new area. I was lucky enough to take part in a production of the musical ‘Hello Dolly!’ as well as my third-year agents showcase in the Trafalgar studios in London.
Unfortunately my final production ‘Made In Dagenham’ was cancelled due to Covid-19. When lockdown hit, I decided I was going to use this time to take further steps towards my career. I emailed, self-taped and I had meetings.
In April 2020 I was thrilled to sign with AKM Talent Management, who now represent me. I look forward to auditioning and working in the industry I have loved since I was six years old. Alongside this I will continue to teach children the craft in the same set-up, I was introduced to as a child.
I would encourage anyone who loves arts to go for it because hard work and passion are always worth it.